Penrith Councillor guilty of misconduct
The Office of Local Government has welcomed a decision by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to punish a Penrith councillor for misconduct in breaching the council’s code of conduct.
Councillor Marcus Cornish has had payment of his council allowance suspended for three months for failing to comply with a formal council resolution.
In July 2015 Clr Cornish was censured by the council for breaching its code of conduct for his behaviour at two council meetings in November and December 2014 when a development application for a Muslim place of worship was being considered.
After an independent investigation, the council formally resolved that Clr Cornish undertake a range of actions within three months including apologising to the council and community and attending training on code of conduct requirements.
Following no action by Clr Cornish after the expiry of the three-month period, the council referred the matter to the Office of Local Government which reported it to NCAT.
In its decision, NCAT found that Clr Cornish was guilty of misconduct in breaching the council’s code of conduct for failing to comply with the requirements of the council resolution.
NCAT noted that the passing of resolutions, the orderly conduct of meetings and councillor compliance with the code of conduct were fundamental to a council’s operation.